UFC 196: Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz
UFC 196 was supposed to be a lightweight title fight for Conor McGregor, against the then champion, Rafael Dos Anjos. Unfortunately for McGregor, Dos Anjos was forced out of the contest due to injury, which meant McGregor would not fight for gold at UFC 196. However, the former featherweight champion of the world still welcomed a challenge to headline the card with him at UFC 196 on just twelve days notice, and in stepped the always game Nate Diaz.
Diaz had previously shown interest in fighting McGregor after he defeated Michael Johnson on a UFC on Fox card that featured Dos Anjos. Diaz went on a profanity-laced tirade about the UFC’s cash cow and shortly thereafter he was. The two embarked on a short media run over the course of the twelve days leading up to their fight. It was clear from the get-go that the two were going to verbally spar and share completely opposing viewpoints about their fight, the direction of the sport, and any other topic that may have been brought to the table.
All of the tension that was built over the course of those twelve days lead to weigh-in day where the two would finally come to head. The biggest star in the sports history and a cult hero of sorts in Diaz were finally going to square off, but we never really got there. With Diaz already on stage, McGregor began approaching him from the scale already jarring. Dana White was more than prepared for potential fireworks and he had already positioned himself between the two, not allowing Diaz to get up close and personal with Diaz. This, however, did not stop Diaz from pulling a classic Diaz brother move, throwing the fake at McGregor over White, and getting the Irish man to flinch. McGregor has been called the king of the mind games, but on this night it was Diaz who got the last laugh.